23 PNW Events You Must Check out in 2020

We've picked some of the best festivals, fairs and other events in Washington, Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Montana and British Columbia

By Gemma Wilson & Anakaren Garcia

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January 28, 2020

This article originally appeared in the January 2020 issue of Seattle Magazine.

This article appears in print in the January 2020 issue. Click here to subscribe.

WASHINGTON

Timbrrr! Winter Music Festival
1/24–1/25
This music fest heats up chilly Leavenworth with musicians like Pedro the Lion, Ivan & Alyosha and Bully playing the Leavenworth Festhalle. The main stage is 21 and older, but there are plenty of stages open to all ages, along with all the wintery Bavarian charm you could ever want. Times and prices vary. Various locations, Leavenworth

Emerald City Comic Con
3/12–3/15
The sea of incredible costumes is a high point of any con; this year’s ECCC also features Chris Roberson, G. Willow Wilson, Jim Lee, Ashley A. Woods and Walter Koenig in the lineup of comic artists, writers and actors participating in panel discussions, photo ops and signing sessions. Times and prices vary. Washington State Convention Center, downtown

Washington Brewers Festival
6/19–6/21
Landing on Father’s Day weekend, this brewer’s festival highlights over 500 beers made by Washington state breweries, including IPAs, stouts, porters, and wheat and Belgian-style beers. The Friday kick-off is a 21-and-older event, but the rest of the weekend features family-friendly activities, including face painting, a kids’ craft tent and a root beer garden. Times and prices vary. Marymoor Park, Redmond

27th Annual Festival of America
7/3–7/4
Each of the two days of live entertainment, arts and crafts, and delicious fair food is capped off by the famous Grand Coulee Dam laser light show, projected onto the face of the dam. On July 4, that show gets an extra-special grand finale: an Independence Day fireworks display. 10 a.m. Free. Grand Coulee Dam Visitor Center Park, Grand Coulee

Spokane Scottish Highland Games
8/1
Stone putting! Caber tossing! Whether you’re watching or participating in the Spokane Scottish Highland Games, these feats of strength are a wonder to behold. For a less extreme experience, consider joining a tug-of-war match, sack race or dance competition. 9 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Prices vary. Spokane County Fair & Expo Center, Spokane

Omak Stampede
8/13–8/16
The highlight of this weekend of Western entertainment, from bull riding to barrel racing, is undoubtedly the suicide race. While the anxiety-inducing name is probably due for a rebrand, the race is jaw-dropping: Horses and riders plunge down a 225-foot bluff and into the Okanogan River, racing to make it across the water and then 500 yards farther to the finish line. Times and prices vary. Various locations, Omak

Port Townsend Film Festival
9/24–9/27
Film festivals in beautiful settings are a no-brainer, and Port Townsend boasts one of the best in the region. There are always special guests (last year’s included Cheryl Strayed and Stephen Tobolowsky), and what began as “a film lover’s block party” now boasts a lineup of more than 90 films playing in seven venues. Times and prices vary. Various locations, Port Townsend


The Port Townsend Film Festival offers three outdoor movie screenings in addition to its 90-plus film lineup. Photo by Mark Saran

OREGON

Portland Rose Festival
5/22–6/7
From the opening fireworks to the final parade, the City of Roses’ annual celebration promises a vibrant, invigorating time for visitors and proud Portlanders alike. Highlights include the carnival-ride-filled CityFair, held on weekends throughout the fest, the Starlight Parade (5/30), the Junior Parade (6/3) and the Grand Floral Parade (6/6), as well as the coronation of the Rose Queen. Times and prices vary. Various locations, Portland, Oregon

Estacada Timber Festival
7/4
If timber is your thing (or even if it’s not), get to Estacada for a full day of fun themed competitions—log cutting, log rolling, axe throwing—finished off with fireworks to celebrate Independence Day. 10 a.m. $5. PGE Timber Park, Estacada, Oregon

Oregon Country Fair
7/10–7/12
Every year, a colorful wonderland pops up in the woods west of Eugene, Oregon, populated by the musicians, magicians, jugglers, jesters and more than 700 artisans who participate in the annual Oregon Country Fair. Surround yourself with the splendors of Mother Nature, then bring some of them home with you in the form of handmade, eco-friendly goods, such as candles, clothing, beaded jewelry, furniture and glasswork. 11 a.m.–7 p.m. Prices vary. Veneta, Oregon

TBA Festival
9/10–9/20
TBA stands for Time-Based Art Festival, an annual presentation by the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art celebrating modern work in many forms. The 11-day festival includes performances, music, visual art, films, workshops, lectures and more by a bevy of local and international artists. Times and prices vary. Various locations, Portland, Oregon

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